testing blog roll

  • Links I Liked
    Best T shirts ever When people talk about ‘systems change‘ they mean 3 different things. Useful unpacking from Dan Vexler She teaches karate to boys and can extract the DNA from bananas. How to be a 5-Year-Old Feminist, aka Eva rocks (but why won’t Channel 4 let us embed it from youtube?) Being in power causes a particular kind of brain damage. Makes sense. Girls ...
  • Ditching the Masterplan. How can Urban Development become ‘Politically smart, locally led’?
    Guest post from Harry Jones and Bishnu Adhikari, both of Palladium on what urban aid and development can learn from the Doing Development Differently movement The international development community has come some way in grappling with complex problems, but urban development has lagged behind. Urban programmes systematically underperform according to their own results frameworks and internal evaluations. The failures are probably already familiar to those ...
  • Loneliness, Love, Anger and Activism
    Spent a morning at the Ashridge Business School Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility last week. The School is extraordinary – a Hogwarts-esque stately home full of statues and vaulted ceilings, formerly Henry VIII’s crib, set in a country park dotted with croquet lawns and mighty oaks. The conversation was also pretty good – 15 Masters students from every continent/walk of life. Only a couple of ...
  • Can Oxfam do the Doughnut? A conversation with Kate Raworth
    Kate Raworth came in last week to present her new book, Doughnut Economics (see my earlier review here or Simon Maxwell’s thoughtful summary/critique) and discuss its implications for Oxfam. After writing the initial DE paper while still at Oxfam back in 2012, Kate left to turn it into a book, so there was a definite air of the prodigal daughter returns. Given that I’ve already reviewed ...
  • Grenfell Tower is a Hurricane Katrina moment, revealing the shameful state of Britain
    My colleague Max Lawson sends out a weekly round-up of things he’s read, and adds some views. Here he is on the meaning and horror of the Grenfell Tower fire. At times an event can act like a flash of lightning, illuminating simmering issues that can otherwise feel abstract.  The recent horrific fire in the Grenfell Tower Block in West London has done this in the UK, not ...
  • Links I Liked
    We’ve resurrected FP2P on Facebook! Please like the page, circulate, comment etc and tell us if it’s not working Did the world just hit peak booze? By volume, but not by alcohol content (people going off beer), so maybe just peak bladder Reasons to be Cheerful. Percentage of women in national parliaments 1990 vs 2016 ‘With a flipchart, pens & cheap ribbon from the pound ...
  • Sex, serendipity and surprises – launching the State of the World’s Fathers
    It’s Father’s Day on Sunday, apparently (my kids ignore it completely), so here’s Oxfam’s gender guru, Nikki van der Gaag, reflecting on an impressive bit of advocacy Sharing the housework means better sex.  Now that I have your attention, let me explain. This was just one of the findings in the first ever State of the World’s Fathers report, published in 2015. It collected research ...
  • What can Activists do in a Political Downturn?
    The recent discussions with the International Budget Partnership also got me thinking about the options facing activists in political downturns. IBP sees these as potentially multiple: the crackdown on civil society in increasing numbers of countries is closing the space for budget activism, and there may also be a kind of ‘peak transparency’, where the issue passes the summit of the hype curve and descends ...
  • Memory, Wisdom and Mentoring: what do practitioners need from academics, beyond research papers?
    Spent an interesting, if bleary (the morning after the UK election) day at Birmingham University’s International Development Department last week. We heard from some of the top research going on there on topics such as the Political Economy of Democracy Promotion, or the Developmental Leadership Program, but what really piqued my interest was a new take on that old chestnut, how researchers and practitioners can ...
  • Thinking and Working Politically: where have we got to?
    Spent a day with the TWP crew recently. Chatham House Rules, so no names. Like its close relative and overlapping network, ‘Doing Development Differently’, TWP urges aid organizations to stop trying to impose rigid blueprint/’best practice’ approaches, paying far more attention to issues of power, politics and local context. The driving force has mainly been staff in bilateral and multilateral aid donors, researchers from universities ...